Protester hit by car treated for minor injuries
The Florida Highway Patrol has released new details about a pedestrian who was injured when he was struck by a vehicle pulling off U.S. 19 during Wednesday afternoon's tea party protest at Gulf View Square mall. Melanie M. Schrey, a 23-year-old from New Port Richey, was driving south on U.S. 19 in the right-hand turn lane, according to an FHP report, when she tried to turn right into the driveway of Mel's Diner at 9223 U.S. 19. But Schrey pulled into a group of about 50 protesters standing in the driveway access, the FHP said. The front end of her 1994 Chevy struck protester Joseph D. Sprowls, 62, the report said. The New Port Richey man suffered minor injuries, the report said, and was taken to Community Hospital for treatment. In all, nearly 2,000 protested in the mall parking lot. FHP is still investigating and has not yet decided whether any charges will be filed.
Arrest interrupts teenager's tryst
It was 2 a.m. Thursday when a police officer heard the steady honking of a car parked outside the Econo Auto Paint shop on U.S. 19. He thought it was a car alarm going off and decided to investigate. As he approached the white 2007 Suzuki sport utility vehicle, however, the officer discovered this wasn't a burglary. "The defendant was intimately involved with the female passenger, who was on top of the defendant," reads the report from the New Port Richey police officer. The woman's movements, the report said, were sounding the horn. Normally an officer might just send the frisky couple on their way, but this officer noticed signs that Moises Gomez, 19, was intoxicated: slurred speech, watery, bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath, the report said. And technically speaking, Gomez was behind the wheel. Gomez performed "poorly" on field sobriety tests but refused to submit to a breath test, the report said. Gomez, of Trinity, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. He was released later in the day from the Land O'Lakes jail.